Bosses are becoming increasingly scared of AI because it might actually adversely affect their jobs too

A frustrated writer sat at a laptop unable to think of anything to write.
Her har vi samlet de beste tekstgeneratorene som gjør det kjapt og enkelt å automatisk generere innhold til bloggen, nettsiden eller sosiale medier. (Image credit: Pixabay)

A new report from AND Digital suggests hundreds of CEOs based in the United Kingdom are now afraid of artificial intelligence (AI) taking their jobs, but remain on the fence about exactly what to do next.

Of the 600 surveyed, nearly half (43%) felt their jobs were at risk, while 76% of them have decided to push on with opening Pandora’s Box and have launched training bootcamps in the technology.

A similar proportion (44%) said they felt their employees weren’t ready to ‘handle’ AI adoption’, and just over a third (34%) wanted to ban it. However, 45% admitted to using AI tools to do their work for them and, in the report’s words, ‘often passing the work off as their own’.

The inevitable death march of progress

To be clear, AI as we know it is a ridiculous conceit in that it’s not a sentient machine or anything, you’re just training one on copious amounts of often-copyrighted data - what’s often known as machine learning - and asking it to spit things back out. It should not be bought into as a cult, nor as a technological advancement to just let happen.

However, it’s egregiously disingenuous for executives to say to their employees ‘we don’t think you’re ready for AI’, prohibiting employees from using it, and casting aspersions on their own use of it, and then go ‘actually, yeah, I use it to get stuff done’. 

It’s only now that reality’s setting in - that machine learning is proving that executives are often surplus to requirement - that employers are looking to level the playing field with bootcamps. It’s a pathetic, extremely obvious move.

Working culture has form for this ‘rules for thee’ stuff, and being averse to change when anyone lower in the pecking order stands to benefit. 

On top of innumerable ‘return to the office, wage slaves, or so help me’ orders post-pandemic, the latest example is probably Dell, a manufacturer also craven for AI PC market share, claiming remote workers won’t be put up for promotion. We'd wholly suggest that you buy any of the best laptops for working from home instead.

Analysis: Just desserts?

You’ll have to forgive me, then, if I’m not at all moved by the fact that the amount of energy put into marketing machine learning as AI is now backfiring on those at the top. It was they who pushed it as a solution to non-existent problems in the workplace just because of a post-pandemic slump in the PC sales market.

Yeah, yeah, that’s some withering commentary, but when not even the people behind the push know what the practical applications of AI should even be, it’s hard not to see ‘AI’ as a waste of time and energy.

If rich executives are supposed to have gotten their millions by being smarter than us, could they not have foreseen a risk to their livelihoods? Artificial intelligence: truly the great leveller.

More from TechRadar Pro

Luke Hughes
Staff Writer

 Luke Hughes holds the role of Staff Writer at TechRadar Pro, producing news, features and deals content across topics ranging from computing to cloud services, cybersecurity, data privacy and business software.